Congratulations, you just got engaged. The proposal was beautiful, and the ring is gorgeous … it’s now time to start thinking about planning your engagement party.
Whether you are keen on the idea of a party or not, the fact of the matter is, friends and family will want to congratulate you. Let’s face it; throwing an engagement party is a great way to celebrate your decision to get married, and a party is a lot more fun than letting your friends know by a text or a Facebook post.
Engagement parties are also a great way to introduce everyone before the big day, these are key people in both your lives who will quite possibly be seeing a lot of each other in the coming months leading up to the wedding. Having a party is a great way to get to know everyone in a more intimate way.
When planning your engagement party, make sure you’ve got the basics covered…
Let friends and family help you
It’s a stressful time, wonderful, but stressful, and as the bride, you might have many things going on. Having someone to help is just what you need, even though you may think otherwise. Let your fiancée help in any way he can, even by organising the less glamorous side to the engagement party like seating, tables, booze, or who will clean up. Every little bit will help, and takes the pressure off you.
Where to have your engagement party
When planning your engagement, don’t feel as if you have to do what your sister did, or your best mate. Just because they had a formal affair in a hotel or a private function room with caterers, doesn’t mean you have to. An engagement party can simply be a get together with friends and family in the home or it can be a big formal sit down dinner if that’s what YOU want.
Eating and drinking
If you are planning your engagement party at home, it is still a good idea to have it catered, leaving you and your fiancée to really enjoy the party. A great idea in catering at the moment is food vans, serving home cooked, seriously delicious gourmet food for a fraction of the price you would normally pay for catering. Food vans are cool, unique and budget friendly. Your only worry; make sure you have plenty of champagne for all the speeches and toasts.
Whoever wants to? However if you’re sticking to tradition, the bride’s parents generally host the evening, but that is ‘so last Century’. If the groom’s family want to chip in that is totally acceptable, or you could throw yourselves one. Like I said, whoever wants to, we are not riding wagons anymore.
When to have it?
Engagement parties are relatively soon after the announcement, that way friends and family are still super excited and can’t wait to attend any champagne-swigging event to celebrate.
Who to invite
If you’re planning on having a small, intimate wedding, it might be a good idea to invite more guests to the engagement party - both sides of the family, wedding party, extended family and friends and co-workers that way all people are covered. It’s up to you when you announce the plans for your wedding, however being up front about how large or small your wedding will be, will help you out when doing your wedding guest list.
Of course, you want to let everyone know about your engagement party, and these days formal invitations are not required. You could set up a Facebook event, get on the phone, even a text message is acceptable.
What’s the deal with gift giving?
For engagement parties, you don’t traditionally get gifts however, some friends and family will turn up with something if you don’t tell them otherwise. If you’d rather not have a gift, all you have to do is specify ‘no gifts’ on the invites. Tell everyone, save it for the wedding!